Today is World Listening Day, a global event held annually to
- Celebrate the listening practices of the world and the ecology of its acoustic environments;
- Raise awareness about the growing number of individual and group efforts that creatively explore Acoustic Ecology based on the pioneering efforts of the World Soundscape Project, World Forum for Acoustic Ecology, La Semaine du Son, Deep Listening Institute, among many others;
- Design and implement educational initiatives that explore these concepts and practices.
This year’s theme is “Sounds Lost and Found.” What sounds have disappeared from the soundscapes around you over time? What new sounds have appeared? What do they tell us about ourselves and industrial, political, and ecological change? What aesthetic, ethical, and ecological questions do these changes raise? What forms of sonic warfare are going on around you? How does sound contribute to (or take away from) peace, coexistence, and flourishing?
There’s a way in which acoustic ecology‘s emphasis on sound as its own phonomenon risks disembedding the soundscape from the lifescape (and landscape and technoscape) that envelops it, turning sounds into an object of attention, absorption, and delight, but without necessarily telling us much about what they mean. But at its best the point is the very opposite: it’s to re-embed ourselves within that lifescape and landscape through the use of our auditory senses.
Go out and listen to the world around you today. Pay a little attention to the biophony, geophony, and anthropophony of the world. Be a little more conscious of your own contributions to each of them.